Marilu Henner (née Mary Lucy Denise Pudlowski) grew up in Chicago as one of six children. Her mother ran a dance school and Henner began dancing when she was just 2 years old. As a teenager, she taught at her mother’s school, and she also did choreography for local high schools and colleges. Her breakout role was in the award-winning tv show Taxi, and she went on to star in films including The Man Who Loved Women and Johnny Dangerously. Henner has a talent called hyperthymesia which means she can recall most of the events of her life. She has written many books on health, diet and memory, and she currently hosts a self-titled weekday morning radio show. Henner is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 130 lbs.
Marilu Henner’s Diet
Henner suffered through years of fad diets before she figured out how to eat, and she developed a plan which helped her lose 55 lbs. She wrote a book about it calledTotal Life Makeover,and says she sailed through menopause virtually without symptoms and hasn’t caught a cold in years. The diet is vegan, which means she does not eat animal products. Fats come from healthy sources, such as fish, nuts, olives and avocados, and she does not worry about her protein intake, saying overconsumption leads to inflammation. Henner does not expect everyone to stop eating meat, but believes it should be eaten in moderation and selected carefully to not contain hormones or other chemicals. The diet encourages healthy food choices that help to detoxify the body and shed excess weight. The focus is not on weight loss per se, but rather making changes to lifestyle that lead to an increase in energy and a clear mind. Henner is a proponent of food combining, and recommends fruit for breakfast, protein and vegetables at lunch and whole grains and vegetables at dinner. Chemicals ingredients, caffeine, refined sugar and dairy are all out, and water should not be taken with meals as it can interfere with proper digestion.
- Low Protein 20% 20%
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- High Carb 70% 70%
Ditch the Diet Soda
Henner says she was drinking 2 gallons of diet soda a day when she committed to changing her diet. After going cold turkey for 3 weeks, she says her first sip tasted like poison, prompting her to remove all chemicals from her diet.
To keep energy levels high, Henner believes fruits, starches and proteins should be eaten separately because they contain components that are digested in different areas. The simple sugars in fruit are quickly digested (starting in the mouth), whereas stomach enzymes handle most proteins, and starches don’t get broken down until they hit the intestines.
Try Something New
Henner says one way to revitalize your life and your health is to try a new, exotic vegetable, fruit, or grain, or recipe from a different culture.
Fast Food Fast
Henner recommends designating one day a week as sugar-free, meat-free, dairy-free or junk-food free as a way to test out how much better you’ll feel eating a healthier diet. And if you want to extend that commitment to a week or a month, go for it!
Moo No More
Henner says dairy products are also high in salt and fat, and difficult to digest, all of which zaps your energy. She makes a point to eat plenty of broccoli and beans to replace dairy as a source of calcium, and she also supplements.
Eat Your Water
Henner says drinking water with meals dilutes digestive juices. She recommends having high water-content foods, including tomatoes, red kidney beans and zucchini to help stay hydrated.
What to Eat
Natural animal protein
What to Avoid
Industrial animal products
Anything with hormones in it
Henner On Trans Fats, Sugar & Artificial Ingredients
‘Foods high in bad fats, sugar and chemicals are directly linked to many negative emotions, whereas whole, natural foods rich in nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes contribute to greater energy and positive emotions.’
Henner On Her 1st Meal Of The Day
‘I don’t like to eat a big meal before I do the show, so I’m big on raw nuts and tangerines — something to sort of tide me over.’
Henner On Her Diet
‘I eat a lot of beans and brown rice and quinoa, and I try to have a big salad every day, at least once a day.’
Marilu Henner’s Fitness Routine
Weekly Workout Routine
Find Your Style
Henner says we all need to exercise in order to be healthy, and especially if you’re looking to lose weight. She doesn’t care what floats your boat, just do enough to break a sweat for a minimum of 10 minutes each day.
Variety Is the Spice
Henner says it’s easy to get bored, and that your body adapts to the same old routine too, so she recommends changing things up regularly, and trying new sports and exercises.
Slay the Dragon
Henner says stress management is one of the most important components of health and happiness.
A Marilu Henner Routine
Pilates routine: 13 minutes/day
Walk: 2+ miles/day
Dance, or do any exercise you enjoy. Just be sure to break a sweat for at least 10 minutes each day.
Henner On Varying Your Exercise
‘Physical improvements come from changeups in your routine.’
Henner On Stress & Quality Of Life
‘Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.’
Henner On Experimenting On Herself
‘I took anatomy classes. I went to medical libraries and talked to doctors and nutritionists. I did the whole thing before using myself as a human guinea pig.’
Marilu Henner’s Supplements
Henner naturally has a great memory, but she still thinks it’s important to take omega-3s to support brain health, focus and memory.
Henner takes both B6 and B12 for energy. It is especially important to supplement with B12 if you follow a plant-based diet.
Henner’s husband had a bout with cancer, and so they both make a point to take antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals which can cause cancer, and also reduce stress.
Henner supplements with one of the most famous antioxidants, vitamin C. Besides boosting immunity, it helps with iron absorption, and can also lower blood pressure and prevent gout.
Henner uses vitamin E because she says works great on wrinkles. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent disease, and balances hormones, which can ease symptoms of PMS.
Marilu Henner’s Lifestyle
Henner says sufficient sleep is key to having plenty of energy and allowing the body to repair itself. Proper sleep habits improve energy and mood, which can restore your body to a healthy state faster.
Elvis Would Be Proud
Henner says she needs her bedroom to be so dark, you can’t guess what time. Henner is up with the birds, 5 am most days and ready to record her show at 5:30.
Both of Henner’s parents died in their fifties, prompting her to seek out a healthier lifestyle.
Henner is one of very few people that can remember what happened on just about every day of her life.
Henner has won competitions for charities, including $25,000 in ‘Grilling With the Stars’ on Live! with Kelly that went to PCRM and $50K on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice for Alzheimer’s.
Henner On Blackout Shades
‘I need to sleep in a dark room because I love to be awake! Any hint of light represents action, and I automatically want to be part of that action.’
Henner On Comfort Zones
‘Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zones if staying in one doesn’t move your life forward.’
Henner On What People Really Want
‘We naturally want more, but we rarely factor in the consequences of having more.’
Henner On Success
‘Success in life is defined by how well you deal with Plan B.’
Henner On Fear
‘Lighten up and learn to laugh at yourself. It’s amazing how many of your fears go away when you have a sense of humor about them.’
Dr. Theo’s Official Avosoy Complete
Total Memory Makeover
Wear Your Life Well
Healthy Life Kitchen
I Refuse to Raise A Brat
The 30-Day Total Health Makeover
Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover
By All Means Keep On Moving
Marilu Henner’s Body Victory